United Church Moderator Visits Lubicon Community

Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
Little Buffalo Lake, AB
Fax: 403-629-3939

Mailing address:
3536 - 106 Street
Edmonton, AB T6J 1A4
Fax: 403-437-0719

March 10, 1993

The Right Reverend Stan McKay, moderator of the United Church of Canada, recently visited the Lubicon community of Little Buffalo Lake. He was able to report little to be optimistic about.

Other than the long-awaited report of the Lubicon Settlement Commission expected any day -- and which will hopefully give people of good will something to rally around and support -- the moderator's grim assessment is hard to dispute. While people across the country and around the world have watched helplessly this brave little aboriginal society has been deliberately pushed to the brink of extinction by both levels of Canadian Government working in tandem with their resource company cronies.

A common response to charges that North America has been stolen and its original inhabitants systematically wiped out is to admit that terrible things may have happened in the past but to plead that current generations can't be held responsible for outrages which occurred a hundred or more years ago. The well documented destruction of the Lubicon society, however, involving genocidal tactics effectively no different than those employed in the past, inspired by similar motives and with similar consequences, indisputably demonstrates that powerful interests in Canada are as prepared today as they've ever been to wipe out whole aboriginal societies in order to steal valuable aboriginal lands and resources.

Facing incredible odds the Lubicons have already lasted far longer than anybody could have reasonably predicted. They won't last much longer if the continuing assault against them can't somehow be alleviated.

Hopefully the report of the Lubicon Settlement Commission will provide Canadians and concerned people around the world what they need to force an honourable settlement of the continuing Lubicon tragedy.

The Edmonton Sun, Wednesday, February 03, 1993


By Paul Bucci

Staff Writer

Aboriginals are being forced into cultural genocide by governments who don't deal fairly with land claim disputes, says the head of the United Church of Canada.

And allowing the Lubicon Lake Cree land claim to drag on is causing needless hardship and death, said Rt. Rev. Stan McKay.

McKay -- a Manitoba Cree and the United Church's first native moderator -- said high numbers of suicides are devastating native communities across the country.

"The culture is suffering and the people are dying," McKay said last night at a meeting of the Edmonton Interfaith Committee for Aboriginal Rights.

The Lubicon Cree -- a band of about 500 people -- have been locked in a land dispute with various governments for 54 years, McKay said. "They're living in Third- and Fourth-World conditions that are not normal and not acceptable in Canada."

McKay said he has little faith in the justice system and holds out little hope that a decision favorable to the Lubicon would be enforced by government.

The band rejected a 1991 federal offer of $45 million and 645 sq. km of land surrounding its settlement at Little Buffalo, 345 km northwest of Edmonton.

Transcript of CBC Radio News Broadcast (9:30 P.M.) Tuesday, March 09, 1993

CBC News

The Moderator of the United Church of Canada says the present situation of the Lubicon people cannot be tolerated. The Right Reverend Stan McKay made the comment after visiting the Lubicon community of Little Buffalo in northern Alberta. McKay is the first Native Canadian to be elected moderator of the United Church. McKay says church officials are anxiously waiting for the release of a report by an independent Commission studying the Lubicon. The Commission has been looking at ways of resolving the land claims dispute between the federal and provincial governments and the Lubicon. A report is expected to be released this week. McKay says there needs to be enough public pressure on the governments so they cannot ignore the recommendations of the Commission.